Timor-Leste Population: 1,321,929


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The Portuguese began to trade with the island of Timor in the early 16th century and colonized it in mid-century. Skirmishing with the Dutch in the region eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty in which Portugal ceded the western portion of the island. Imperial Japan occupied Portuguese Timor from 1942 to 1945, but Portugal resumed colonial authority after the Japanese defeat in World War II. East Timor declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975 and was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It was incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur (East Timor). An unsuccessful campaign of pacification followed over the next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 people died. In an August 1999 UN-supervised popular referendum, an overwhelming majority of the people of Timor-Leste voted for independence from Indonesia. However, in the next three weeks, anti-independence Timorese militias - organized and supported by the Indonesian military - commenced a large-scale, scorched-earth campaign of retribution. The militias killed approximately 1,400 Timorese and forced 300,000 people into western Timor as refugees. Most of the country's infrastructure, including homes, irrigation systems, water supply systems, and schools, and nearly all of the country's electrical grid were destroyed. On 20 September 1999, Australian-led peacekeeping troops deployed to the country and brought the violence to an end. On 20 May 2002, Timor-Leste was internationally recognized as an independent state. In 2006, internal tensions threatened the new nation's security when a military strike led to violence and a breakdown of law and order. At Dili's request, an Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) deployed to Timor-Leste, and the UN Security Council established the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), which included an authorized police presence of over 1,600 personnel. The ISF and UNMIT restored stability, allowing for presidential and parliamentary elections in 2007 in a largely peaceful atmosphere. In February 2008, a rebel group staged an unsuccessful attack against the president and prime minister. The ringleader was killed in the attack, and most of the rebels surrendered in April 2008. Since the attack, the government has enjoyed one of its longest periods of post-independence stability, including successful 2012 elections for both the parliament and president and a successful transition of power in February 2015. In late 2012, the UN Security Council ended its peacekeeping mission in Timor-Leste and both the ISF and UNMIT departed the country. Early parliamentary elections in the spring of 2017 finally produced a majority goovernment after months of impasse. Currently, the government is a coalition of three parties and the president is a member of the opposition party. In 2018, this configuration stymied nominations for key ministerial positions and slowed progress on certain policy issues.

    Timor comes from the Malay word for "east"; the island of Timor is part of the Malay Archipelago and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands; the district of Oecussi is an exclave separated from Timor-Leste proper by Indonesia
Location: Southeastern Asia, northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda Islands at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago; note - Timor-Leste includes the eastern half of the island of Timor, the Oecussi (Ambeno) region on the northwest portion of the island of Timor, and the islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco
Geographic coordinates: 8 50 S, 125 55 E
Area: total: 14,874 sq km
land: 14,874 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Connecticut; almost half the size of Maryland
Land Boundaries: total: 253 km border countries (1): Indonesia 253 km
Coastline: 706 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons
Terrain: mountainous
Natural resources: gold, petroleum, natural gas, manganese, marble
Land use: agricultural land: 25.1% (2011 est.) arable land: 10.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 4.9% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 10.1% (2011 est.) forest: 49.1% (2011 est.)
other: 25.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 350 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: floods and landslides are common; earthquakes; tsunamis; tropical cyclones
Current Environment Issues: air pollution and deterioration of air quality; greenhouse gas emissions; water quality, scarcity, and access; land and soil degradation; forest depletion; widespread use of slash and burn agriculture has led to deforestation and soil erosion; loss of biodiversity
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Timorese
adjective: Timorese
Ethnic groups: Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) (includes Tetun, Mambai, Tokodede, Galoli, Kemak, Baikeno), Melanesian-Papuan (includes Bunak, Fataluku, Bakasai), small Chinese minority
Languages: Tetun Prasa 30.6%, Mambai 16.6%, Makasai 10.5%, Tetun Terik 6.1%, Baikenu 5.9%, Kemak 5.8%, Bunak 5.5%, Tokodede 4%, Fataluku 3.5%, Waima'a 1.8%, Galoli 1.4%, Naueti 1.4%, Idate 1.2%, Midiki 1.2%, other 4.5% note: data represent population by mother tongue; Tetun and Portuguese are official languages; Indonesian and English are working languages; there are about 32 indigenous languages
Religions: Roman Catholic 97.6%, Protestant/Evangelical 2%, Muslim 0.2%, other 0.2% (2015 est.)
Population: 1,321,929 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.44% (male 274,881 /female 259,736)
15-24 years: 20.46% (male 137,363 /female 133,128)
25-54 years: 30.13% (male 191,290 /female 206,973)
55-64 years: 5.02% (male 33,047 /female 33,325)
65 years and over: 3.95% (male 25,086 /female 27,100) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 90.3 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 83.7 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 6.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 15.2 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19.1 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 19.7 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.32% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 32.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 5.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 30.6% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 3.35% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 281,000 DILI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 22.1 years (2009/10 est.) note: median age at first birth among women 25-29
Maternal mortality rate: 215 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 33.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 36.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 31 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.7 years male: 67.1 years
female: 70.4 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.67 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 26.1% (2016)
Physicians density: 0.72 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density: 5.9 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95.2% of population
rural: 60.5% of population
total: 71.9% of population

urban: 4.8% of population
rural: 39.5% of population
total: 28.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 69% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 26.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 40.6% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 31% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 73.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 59.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 3.8% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 37.5% (2013)
Education expenditures: 2.7% of GDP (2014)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 67.5%
male: 71.5%
female: 63.4% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 13 years male: 14 years female: 13 years (2010)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 13.2% male: 10.9% female: 15.9% (2016 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
conventional short form: Timor-Leste
local long form: Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
local short form: Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
former: East Timor, Portuguese Timor
etymology: timor" derives from the Indonesian and Malay word "timur" meaning "east"; "leste" is the Portuguese word for "east", so "Timor-Leste" literally means "Eastern-East"; the local [Tetum] name "Timor Lorosa'e" translates as "East Rising Sun note: pronounced TEE-mor LESS-tay
Government type: semi-presidential republic
Capital: name: Dili
geographic coordinates: 8 35 S, 125 36 E
time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 12 municipalities (municipios, singular municipio) and 1 special adminstrative region* (regiao administrativa especial); Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro (Maliana), Covalima (Suai), Dili, Ermera (Gleno), Lautem (Lospalos), Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi (Same), Oe-Cusse Ambeno* (Pante Macassar), Viqueque

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Independence: 20 May 2002 (from Indonesia); note - 28 November 1975 was the date independence was proclaimed from Portugal; 20 May 2002 was the date of international recognition of Timor-Leste's independence from Indonesia
National holiday: Restoration of Independence Day, 20 May (2002)Proclamation of Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
Constitution: history: drafted 2001, approved 22 March 2002, entered into force 20 May 2002 amendments: proposed by Parliament and parliamentary groups; consideration of amendments requires at least four-fifths majority approval by Parliament; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by Parliament and promulgation by the president of the republic; passage of amendments to the republican form of government and the flag requires approval in a referendum (2018)
Legal system: civil law system based on the Portuguese model; note - penal and civil law codes to replace the Indonesian codes were passed by Parliament and promulgated in 2009 and 2011, respectively
Suffrage: 17 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Francisco GUTERRES (since 20 May 2017); note - the president is commander in chief of the military and is able to veto legislation, dissolve parliament, and call national elections

head of government: Prime Minister Taur Matan RUAK (since 22 June 2018); note - President GUTERRES dissolved parliament because of an impasse over passing the country's budget on 26 January 2018, with then Prime Minister Mari ALKATIRI assuming the role of caretaker prime minister until a new prime minister was appointed

cabinet: the governing coalition in the Parliament proposes cabinet member candidates to the Prime Minister, who presents these recommendations to the President of the Republic for swearing in elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 March 2017 (next to be held in 2022); following parliamentary elections, the president appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as the prime minister

election results: Francisco GUTERRES elected president; percent of vote - Francisco GUTERRES (FRETILIN) 57.1%, Antonio DA CONCEICAO (PD) 32.5%, Jose Luis GUTERRES (Frenti-Mudanca) 2.6%, Jose NEVES (independent) 2.3%, Luis Alves TILMAN (independent) 2.2%, other 3.4%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Parliament (65 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 May 2018 (next to be held in July 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - AMP - 49.6%, FRETILIN 34.2%, PD 8.1%, DDF 5.5%, other 2.6%; seats by party - AMP 34, FRETILIN 23, PD 5, DDF 3; composition - men 39, women 26, percent of women 40%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Court of Appeals (consists of the court president andn/ajudges) judge selection and term of office: court president president appointed by the president of the republic from among the other court judges to serve a 4-year term; other court judges appointed - 1 by the Parliament and the others by the Supreme Council for the Judiciary, a body chaired by the court president and includes mostly presidential and parliamentary appointees; other judges serve for life

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Administrative, Tax, and Audit Court; district courts; magistrates' courts; military courts note: the UN Justice System Programme, launched in 2003 in 4 phases through 2018, is helping strengthen the country's justice system; the Programme is aligned with the country's long-range Justice Sector Strategic Plan, which includes legal reform
Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Change and Progress or AMP [Xanana GUSMAO] (alliance includes CNRT, KHUNTO, PLP) Democratic Development Forum or DDF Democratic Party or PD Frenti-Mudanca [Jose Luis GUTERRES] Kmanek Haburas Unidade Nasional Timor Oan or KHUNTO National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction or CNRT [Kay Rala Xanana GUSMAO] People's Liberation Party or PLP [Taur Matan RUAK] Revolutionary Front of Independent Timor-Leste or FRETILIN [Mari ALKATIRI]
International organization participation: ACP, ADB, AOSIS, ARF, ASEAN (observer), CPLP, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO
National symbol(s): Mount Ramelau;
national colors: red, yellow, black, white
National anthem: name: "Patria" (Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Fransisco Borja DA COSTA/Afonso DE ARAUJO

note: adopted 2002; the song was first used as an anthem when Timor-Leste declared its independence from Portugal in 1975; the lyricist, Francisco Borja DA COSTA, was killed in the Indonesian invasion just days after independence was declared
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Domingos Sarmento ALVES (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 4201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 504, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-3202
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3205
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Kathleen FITZPATRICK (since 19 January 2018)
embassy: Avenida de Portugal, Praia dos Coqueiros, Dili
mailing address: US Department of State, 8250 Dili Place, Washington, DC 20521-8250
telephone: (670) 332-4684
FAX: (670) 331-3206
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Since independence in 1999, Timor-Leste has faced great challenges in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the civil administration, and generating jobs for young people entering the work force. The development of offshore oil and gas resources has greatly supplemented government revenues. This technology-intensive industry, however, has done little to create jobs in part because there are no production facilities in Timor-Leste. Gas is currently piped to Australia for processing, but Timor-Leste has expressed interest in developing a domestic processing capability. In June 2005, the National Parliament unanimously approved the creation of the Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund to serve as a repository for all petroleum revenues and to preserve the value of Timor-Leste's petroleum wealth for future generations. The Fund held assets of $16 billion, as of mid-2016. Oil accounts for over 90% of government revenues, and the drop in the price of oil in 2014-16 has led to concerns about the long-term sustainability of government spending. Timor-Leste compensated for the decline in price by exporting more oil. The Ministry of Finance maintains that the Petroleum Fund is sufficient to sustain government operations for the foreseeable future. Annual government budget expenditures increased markedly between 2009 and 2012 but dropped significantly through 2016. Historically, the government failed to spend as much as its budget allowed. The government has focused significant resources on basic infrastructure, including electricity and roads, but limited experience in procurement and infrastructure building has hampered these projects. The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and to reduce poverty.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $7.426 billion (2017 est.) $7.784 billion (2016 est.) $7.391 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $2.775 billion (2017 est.) note: non-oil GDP
GDP - real growth rate: -4.6% (2017 est.) 5.3% (2016 est.) 4% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,000 (2017 est.) $6,400 (2016 est.) $6,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 33% (2017 est.) government consumption: 30% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 10.6% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 78.4% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -52% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 9.1% (2017 est.) industry: 56.7% (2017 est.) services: 34.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, rice, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), sweet potatoes, soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, vanilla
Industries: printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth
Industrial production growth rate: 2% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 286,700 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 41%
industry: 13%
services: 45.1% (2013)
Unemployment rate: 4.4% (2014 est.) 3.9% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: 41.8% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 27% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 31.9 (2007 est.) 38 (2002 est.)
Budget: revenues: 300 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 2.4 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 10.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -75.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 3.8% of GDP (2017 est.) 3.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.6% (2017 est.) -1.3% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$284 million (2017 est.) -$544 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $16.7 million (2017 est.) $18 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil, coffee, sandalwood, marble note: potential for vanilla exports
Imports: $681.2 million (2017 est.) $558.6 million (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, gasoline, kerosene, machinery
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $544.4 million (31 December 2017 est.) $437.8 million (31 December 2015 est.) note: excludes assets of approximately $9.7 billion in the Petroleum Fund (31 December 2010)
Debt - external: $311.5 million (31 December 2014 est.) $687 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: n/a
Exchange rates: the US dollar is used
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Electricity - production: 0 kWh n/a (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2017 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 600 kW n/a (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 100% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 40,320 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 62,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 3,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 3,481 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 5.776 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 5.776 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 200 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 533,400 Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 1,546,624
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: rudimentary service in urban and some rural areas, which is expanding with the entrance of new competitors; 3G LTE service, with about 97% of population having access, among 3 mobile operators; increase in mobile broadband penetration (2018)

domestic: system suffered significant damage during the violence associated with independence; limited fixed-line services; less than 1 per 100 and  mobile-cellular services have been expanding and are now available in urban and most rural areas with teledensity of 120 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 670; international service is available; geostationary earth orbit satellite agreement in the works
Broadcast media: 7 TV stations (3 nationwide satellite coverage; 2 terrestrial coverage, mostly in Dili; 2 cable) and 21 radio stations (3 nationwide coverage) (2019)
Internet country code: .tl
Internet users: total: 318,373
percent of population: 25.2% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 6 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Heliports: 8 (2013)
Roadways: total 6,040 km
(2008) paved: 2,600 km (2008)
unpaved: 3,440 km (2008)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Dili
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Military branches: Timor-Leste Defense Force (Falintil-Forcas de Defesa de Timor-L'este, Falintil (F-FDTL)): Army, Navy (Armada) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-month service obligation (2019)
Military expenditures: 0.9% of GDP (2017) 0.93% of GDP (2016) 2.56% of GDP (2015) 2.12% of GDP (2014) 2.42% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: three stretches of land borders with Indonesia have yet to be delimited, two of which are in the Oecussi exclave area, and no maritime or Economic Exclusion Zone boundaries have been established between the countries; maritime boundaries with Indonesia remain unresolved; Timor-Leste and Australia reached agreement on a treaty delimiting a permanent maritime boundary in March 2018; the treaty will enter into force once ratified by the two countries' parliaments
Illicit drugs: NA
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